Ikhwanweb :: The Muslim Brotherhood Official English Website

Tue109 2018

Last update19:14 PM GMT

Back to Homepage
Font Size : 12 point 14 point 16 point 18 point
:: Issues > Activites
April 6 - Where Do We Go from Here?
April 6 - Where Do We Go from Here?
The Associated Press has all but declared today’s much anticipated April 6 Youth Movement general strike a failure
Friday, April 10,2009 22:44

The Associated Press has all but declared today’s much anticipated April 6 Youth Movement general strike a failure.

The movement had been hoping to stage numerous protests and demonstrations in the wake of last year’s April 6 strike, which led to the death of three Egyptians, the wounding of dozens, and hundreds of arrests.

As there have already been a number of reports about today’s events I am simply going to highlight a few interesting points. Sarah Carr’s report in the Daily News Egypt and this article from the Middle East Times are useful sources of background information.

1. Use of the media

April 6 boasts a flourishing online media campaign. It has a network of bloggers and “Twitters,” a number of Facebook pages, and uses fancy graphics and banners. This is clearly a youth driven movement, and they know how to use the internet. We have already witnessed the Egyptian opposition’s use of the internet to publicize the detention of various bloggers and activists and to spread the news of the Hussein bombing.

Here is a link to the official April 6 blog, and here is their statement of purpose in English.

2. April 6’s strength and the Egyptian political opposition

While a Facebook group boasting tens of thousands of members may be able to reach a wide audience, there remains the challenge of translating this “online power” into “street power.” Tens of thousands of people were not protesting on the streets of Cairo today. In addition, many of Egypt’s main opposition groups and personalities, such as the Muslim Brotherhood, Ayman Nour and the Ghad Party, as well as a number of trade unions, gave only their vocal support to April 6.

Here are some quotes from the Daily News Egypt:

“As for April 6, 2009, we share in the anger but not in the strike. We share in the anger on the basis that we feel anger at the deterioration of conditions in Egypt. We express it in several ways; all political forces have their method of expression and all will commemorate April 6 in their own way.” - Ayman Nour

“The Youth Movement has done a good job of using the media to spread the protest message but it’s still too early to talk about a national industrial strike when the workers’ movement faces the obstacle of the state’s oppressive security apparatus.”- Saber Barakat, member of the Workers and Trade Union Freedoms Coordinating Committee

“Before we take a position on April 6 we have to answer a fundamental question: are opposition forces currently capable of organizing a successful general strike?” - Tadamon

3. Why was April 6 not more successful?

Arrests in the past couple of days of everyone from Brotherhood figures to university students handing out flyers have certainly put pressure on the movement. In addition, there was an immense police presence, especially downtown and at the sites where the protests were scheduled to take place. Last year’s deaths, injuries, and arrests may also have contributed to people’s apprehension about coming out and taking the risk. In addition, for some Egyptians, the loss of a day’s wages might be enough to deter them from taking part in a strike that they see as unlikely to effect real change.

Here is a telling quote from the Egyptian opposition group Tadamon from the Daily News Egypt:

“We believe that the answer is no. April 6 will not be a general strike however much it is hoped that it would be. … It is not expected that many workers and popular movements will adopt the call for the strike. In our opinion what will most likely happen is a smaller version of April 6, 2008, that is April 6, 2009 will take place without Mahalla — stripping it of much of its weight.”

The strength of last year’s strike was in large part due to protests against low wages and rising inflation. Evidently, workers did not participate as they did last year.

Yesterday, a number of Egypt’s opposition groups announced the formation of the Egyptian Coalition for Change (ECC). Prominent Egyptian writers Sonallah Ibrahim, Alaa Al-Aswany, Kefaya leader Abdel Halim Qandeel, and representatives from the Journalists’ Syndicate have all joined. The group has released a “manifesto” calling for the NDP to step down, the formation of a coalition government, an end to emergency rule, an expansion of democratic freedoms, and an annulment of the Camp David treaty with Israel. The Muslim Brotherhood has yet to officially join the coalition.

Although it supports April 6, it seems that the Egyptian political opposition is taking a more cautious and calculated approach, which may have weakened April 6’s ability to mobilize. The opposition’s hesitation to participate in the protests may be a result of its experience dealing with the intricacies and the hidden red lines of the Egyptian political system.

Furthermore, media coverage in general certainly benefits both the newly formed ECC and April 6. However, the Egyptian government has an uncanny ability to just simply disregard this internal domestic pressure by arresting a few hundred people and pretending (despite sending out thousands of armed state security officers) that nothing has happened. Of course, there was little to no mention of April 6 in any of the state-sponsored papers.  Opposition and  independent papers such as Al-Masri Al-Youm, Al-Dustour, and Al-Shurouq gave the ECC and April 6 significant coverage.

And what are the implications of all of this for the Obama administration and the promotion of democracy in the region? Will President Obama respond to the April 6 movement and the continued detention of bloggers and political activists?

If you’d like to see a play by play of the past couple of days’ events and a variety of Egyptian sources including bloggers and various news sources, I will once again direct you to the Egyptian Chronicles blog which has a very detailed account of what has been going on.

The Source

Posted in Activites , Human Rights  
Add Comment Send to Friend Print
Related Articles
Arresting MB Students is the Price for Participation in April 6th
Doctors To Go on Strike Today, April 9
It’s Time for Change on “the Day of Rage”
37 Detainees in The Day of Rage
Anniversary of the April 6 Protests
Dozens Protest In Front of State Council On ‘Day of Rage’
Egypt Under Siege On ‘Day of Rage’
Day of Rage, Latest News
Security Tightening in Egyptian Universities on “Day of Rage”
Security Seige On Kafr El-Sheikh University Prior To April 6th Strike
Security Forces Arrest Bloggers, 39 April 6th Activists
MB, Independent MPs Withdraw From Parliament on “Day of Rage”
We got the dirty SSI message and will respond to it on 6 April
Backgrounder: Egypt’s 6 April Movement
MB Statement on the “Day of Rage” April 6th, 2009
Breaking News : The Muslim Brotherhood supports 6th April 09 Strike
Different National Forces Willing to Participate in 6 April Strike
6 April Youth Movement Calls Students to Participate in the Strike
"ANHRI" supports 6th April strike
MB Lawyers “We Wont Participate in General Assembly of Next April”
Egyptian Organizations in U.S. Decide To Back Upcoming April 6 Strike
Ain Shams April 6 Activist Detained
Kefaya to Join Upcoming April 6 Strike
April 6th Calls for General Strike and Leaders Refuse To Join
Expert: Truce Should be Based on 1996 April Deal, Shalit Should be Handed to France
April 6 Movement Threatens to Internationalize Detainees Cases
Us State Department Chooses April 6th Movement To Take Part In Anti-Extremism Conference
April 6 Last Victim Still Imprisoned
Police Arrests Kefaya Leader Karima Al Hifnawi, Four April 6 Activists
Violation of Defense Right in April 6 Events Trial
April 6 Youth Protests to Have a Blogger Released
April 6 Youth Strike Before the Prosecutor General
Alexandria Appeals Court orders release of 6 April Youth
Security Forces Arrest 16 April 6 Activists
April 6 detainee recounts alleged prison torture
April 6 Activists Call for Rally to Discuss Egypt’s Problems
Egypt Activists Launch “April 6” Radio
16 Human Rights Organizations blame the regime for April 6th riots
Victory for the April 6 haphazard battle
Rallies in Cairo for releasing April 6th Strike
Was The April 6th Strike a Success?
April 8 Local Elections Annulled in more Cities in Egypt
Egypt: Municipal elections on Tuesday 8 April, concerns mount
Egypt Administrative Courts Annull April 8 Local Elections
MB Endorses April 6 Strike, But Will Not Sponsor it
Muslim Brotherhood Statement on April 6 Strike
April Fool: Egyptian Gov’t Affirms the Right of Its Citizens to Free Speech